Every parent and grandparent has delighted in the cute way their toddlers mispronounce words. And when the words are finally correctly spoken, we know deep down that our little ones are growing up – way too fast for us, sometimes. But speech sound disorders are no longer sweet and cute past a certain age. They become a cause of concern.
With the typical two year old, understanding about half of what they say is normal. By the time a child is four, their speaking should be understandable by most people. When a child is seven, consistent, clear pronunciation of words is normal. By age eight, our children should be able to pronounce all the sounds of the English language correctly. If these milestones aren’t reached, the child may have a speech sound disorder. Some adults also endure speech sound disorders that have carried over from childhood, and others are due to suffering a stroke or head injury.
Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation, trouble making a particular sound and problems with phonological processes, or sound patterns. This diagnosis comes when language errors continue after the patient reaches certain age.
- Articulation Disorder is diagnosed when someone has problems making sounds. Sounds may be omitted, added on, distorted or substituted for another, resulting in others struggling to understand the person in conversation.
- Phonological Disorder involves patterns of sound inaccuracies.
The causes may not always be attributed to speech sound errors. The adult simply may not have learned how to produce a certain sound correctly as a child. Sometimes physical problems are at the root of the disorder. One thing is certain: local dialects and area accents are not speech sound errors.
If you or someone you love suffers with speech sound disorder or any disorder associated with hearing loss, the staff at Blount Hearing and Speech in Maryville, Tennessee provides speech treatment to improve articulation of individual sounds and eliminate errors in speech patterns, and we work with you to correct hearing loss. We are dedicated to providing excellence in speech and hearing health care. If you have questions concerning you or your child’s hearing and speech patterns, call us today at 865-982-8557 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Speech sound disorders are more than tongue twisters, and we are here to help.